This work investigates the viscous flow fields induced by a solitary wave passing over a shelf or a step. The proposed numerical model solves the unsteady two-dimensional Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations and the turbulence equations. The finite-analytical scheme is used to discretize the differential equations involved in the RANS model. The particle level set method is adopted to capture the complex free surface evolution. Accuracy of the proposed model in simulating breaking solitary wave on a shelf is verified by comparing numerical wave profiles from the incident stage to the beginning of jet fall with the experimental data. Following verification of the accuracy of the proposed numerical model, the surface evolution, kinematic properties and energy balance involved in a breaking solitary wave on the shelf are elucidated in details. Numerical results indicate that during the overturning of the solitary wave, maximum velocity of the fluid particles occurs after the first splash-up and before the second reattachment.

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